Image: RAC Foundation
The RAC Foundation has issued a ‘day one briefing’ for incoming transport ministers, highlighting six areas which it says should be at the forefront of DfT priorities.
Having described the 2017 manifestos as ‘transport light’, the RAC Foundation briefing focuses on the cost of travel, roads investment, potholes, the creation of a road collision investigation branch, ultra-low emission vehicles and parking.
The Foundation says a Government working to support safe, sustainable motoring will help achieve ‘all those other good things voters want’ – a stronger economy, less burden on the health service, and better access to goods and services, education and employment.
Pointing to statistics showing that two-thirds of commutes are taken by car, the briefing says ministers should set out ‘basic data’ showing the importance of roads and motoring for the health of the economy.
It also calls for greater commitment on roads investment, saying that ‘all too often’ these commitments disappear as other causes steal their place in the queue for Treasury funding.
The Foundation says Government funding should be extended beyond motorways and major A roads to help improve ‘potholed routes’ managed by ‘cash-strapped’ local authorities.
The Foundation also joins PACTS in calling for the formation of a road accident investigation branch, to bring the same rigour to learning lessons from road crashes that apply in the aviation, rail and maritime sectors.
With regard to ultra-low emission vehicles, the Foundation says anyone contemplating a plug-in hybrid car ‘could easily be put off’ by the plethora of different charging contracts and ‘contraptions’ they currently face.
Finally, having funded ‘a decent standard of road, made the journey safer and tackled harmful emissions’, The Foundation says the new Government should turn its attention to parking by promoting better practice among parking contractors.
Editor: having said all that, given what happened overnight, right now the incoming Government is probably going to have a few things higher up its list of immediate priorities than road transport!